Southern France: Two magnificent bridges built 2000 years apart
Snow in Brussels

Holidays - London, Cologne, Rome, Brussels

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!




Grand Place, Brussels


Our holidays were very busy, starting off with a trip to Horsham and London for Thanksgiving.  Dave & Allison invited us to celebrate Thanksgiving with them.  We were making our plans when D got the word he had to be in London England on Dec 2nd for a meeting.  Perfect timing!

Allison made a wonderful feast for the four of us.  A very traditional Thanksgiving meal, with turkey (had to be special ordered), stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry and lots more.



Don and Cathy November 2009 007


D2's upcoming holiday party was a costume party, so we all went to the "fancy dress" store to help him pick out a costume.  Little did we know how much fun this outing would be!




What we call costume parties, in the UK they call them fancy dress parties.  D jumped right in to help D2 find his fancy dress.



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How about these shoes?  This may be a new look for D.




Quite the dapper Sir Walter Raleigh......






A gladiator....





and we are not quite sure what this is.....rocker dude?





a few friends......




Sir Walter and Austin Powers....."yeah baby"


and last but not least.....rocker dude finds a date -  cat women!



D had to help me take off my boots as I could not bend over in this outfit    :   )

We decided that D2 & A should add the Fancy Dress store to the "must see" list for guests who visit them in the UK!

Now for some traditional British food, fish and chips.  Greasy and good!


and Father Christmas cookies


The best news we heard this weekend is that D2 and A have extended for two more years!  Yeah!!



On to London and their Winter Wonderland to see Father Christmas.



and the toy soldier




I do believe in Santa Claus!


Harrod's, the famous department store in London, had a Wizard of Oz holiday theme with giant ruby red slippers coming out the side of their building.



London had beautiful holiday lights in the main shopping district.  Umbrellas - how appropriate for London!



Cologne Germany

I took a one day bus trip with a group of women I do things with in Brussels to Cologne Germany to visit the Christmas market.  We had a crisp sunny day for our outing.  As with most European cities, Cologne has a beautiful old cathedral.  Construction of the cathedral started in 1248, and with interruptions, was completed in 1880 - over 600 years later!  It is one of the world's largest churches and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.



Cologne has seven Christmas markets spread throughout the city.  One of them was the Gnome market.




The German markets have beautiful ornaments.


All hand blown.


 and a few very interesting characters!




Early the next morning, we hopped on a plane and headed to Rome for a five day business trip.  There were several of D's co-workers from the states on this trip.  Ahmad and I are standing in front of the beautiful and famous Trevi fountain.

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I think this is a funny photo, the Trevi fountain looking like one of the junk trinkets for sale.

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Roman Ruins with a colorful blue backdrop. 

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There are Steelers fans around the world.  D is standing in front of the one and only Steelers bar in Rome.  The owner plays all the games live, and if it is a late night game, that means it would be on at 3 am!

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One night we were in a restaurant (not the steelers bar) and we noticed the waiters watch.


Turns out he was a huge Steelers fan!  Here I am with Donald's co worker Mike, also a huge Steelers fan, the waiter in white, and Mike's wife Pam.  We had a fun night talking about football with the Italian waiter!



They do not decorate in Rome like they do in other European cities for Christmas.  I did see a few glass balls hung in the street.
but these looked as if they might stay up all year long.


They did have a Christmas market with interesting street performers.

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We dropped some money in his can and we became fast friends!

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She was very graceful.  We think we saw her last time we were in Rome where she was a ballerina.


They stay completely still until you drop money in their cup and then they preform.


Rome is predominately Catholic so there were many religious decorations at the market.

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It was a rainy night which made for an interesting sky.

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I love this photo of D - shopping bags in hand, cool old car passing by.


One thing you can not skip in Rome is the Gelato!!!!




And a visit to our very own Brussels market which has the most fascinating carousel round I have ever seen.


I cannot find any information on the artist who created this creation.



Children can sit in the back of this crazy lizard.



I was very disappointed when I found out the merry-go-round was for children only!



Goodbye 2009!













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